In the early 1900s, Denver was an active radium-processing center. Radium was used for medical, equipment, and security efforts during World War I. The production process created huge amounts of waste materials, called "tailings," which were left in piles near the processing plants. In the 1920s, radium processing was discontinued in Denver due to overseas competition. The tailing piles were abandoned as the radium processors closed. Over the years some of these piles were moved around Denver and used as fill or in construction activities, including street construction. In the late 1970s, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) located the tailings and initiated a cleanup by identifying the tailings as a Superfund Site, including several Denver streets built using the materials.
Denver’s Radium Streets Program was d a response to EPA’s designation of these streets as part of the Superfund Site. Denver Radium Streets, which EPA calls "Operable Unit 7", is comprised of nine street segments. The Radium Streets Program was successfully completed at the end of 2007 after a five-year clean up effort between the Department of Public Works, and Environmental Health.
Contact Lisa Farrell at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 720-865-5439.
Further Information on past projects and reconstruction can be obtained through the following links: